Teen Reach is a partnership of the Southwest Organizing Project and Donald L. Morrill Elementary School. Teen REACH seeks to offer middle and high school students a wide range of after-school academic and recreational opportunities in an attempt foster educational and social emotional growth in participants. Teen REACH is funded by the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS). For the past five years, SWOP has worked with and developed the leadership capacity of over 400 youth leaders who continue to be agents of change on the southwest side.
Programmatically, Teen REACH offers youth the opportunity to engage in educational activities that may not be available during school hours. Some of the courses offered through the Teen REACH program include: sculpture, drama, music appreciation, policy debate, political science, popular science, media literacy, woodshop, crocheting, and Spanish. Additionally all Teen REACH participants receive a minimum of 1.5 hours of daily academic tutoring that is shaped through a partnership with Morrill Elementary middle school staff. Finally, SWOP places heavy focus on creating educational spaces that engage youth and parents as stakeholders in the educational process. Through this deep respect for the power of students and families, many Teen REACH youth have led efforts to build up and reclaim southwest side neighborhood schools.